People want a comfortable life.
They want to live at peace with themselves, at peace with their neighbours, and at peace with the world.
But bad things happen!! They happen to you and to me, often randomly and inexplicably. When they do, they affect your body, mind and soul. The lasting affect is often to destroy your peace of mind, especially your ability to live at peace with yourself.
Therapy cannot turn the clock back; it cannot undo what has been done, and cannot make to unhappen what has happened. What it can do is to help you adjust to your new circumstances, discover in tragedy new opportunities, and ways to take advantage of them, and to help you move on in life, perhaps in a somewhat different direction, but one which restores the comfort and peace you once had before the bad thing happened.
Life sometimes can be precariously balanced, like this pile of pebbles; you have to tip-toe around it, avoid making waves, or walk on egg-shells, to keep it from falling over, because, if you relax your concentration and allow your authentic self to emerge -- even for a moment, the shock could result in this edifice coming crashing down, leaving your world in ruins. The energy you use up every day to stop catastrophe happening may result in you becoming stressed and anxious, or depressed, but whatever symptoms it manifests, you will be left exhausted and reduced to surviving rather than living a free-flowing, enjoyable and fulfilled life. If this simile describes your life at the moment, now might be a good time to seek counselling and, with the help of a trusted professional, to look at alternative ways of being that could make it easier to live in a less stressful way.
If you choose not to get help, there may come a time when your stores of energy are depleted and you have no more resources to juggle all the demands you place on yourself. At that point the edifice can become unstable and threaten to crumble, or it can actually disintegrate and leave you with the ruins of what was once your life. That may be the point at which you decide to seek support from counselling, but because of the enduring stigma associated with mental ill-health, even at this low point, some people would rather live with their pain, or even to die with it, than admit they need help.
There are some specific conditions that require psychotherapy rather than counselling, for example post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) which affects people who have experienced major trauma. Not everyone who survives a dreadful event will acquire PTSD, but many do.
People understand if you have been tortured, raped, injured by enemy action or seen your comrade die under fire, or you have been badly injured in a car crash, that you might develop this condition. But something supposedly natural such as difficult childbirth can also be traumatic and permanently affect your peace of mind.
What is not so widely know is that the effect of less powerful negative experiences, such as abuse, humiliation, failure, bullying or losses of any kind, especially if repeated, can also have a similar effect. You can feel powerless, hopeless, unloved and unsafe; emotions that rob life of its joy and turn every day into a into ordeal which at best can only be endured.
The good news is that the majority of people who suffer these difficulties can be helped by psychotherapy; you do not need to spend the rest of your days focusing on survival, confined within a colourless and constricted world.
My Training and Qualifications
I have a Diploma in Counselling and my experience and proficiency were endorsed by one of the leading professional bodies for regulating the counselling profession in the UK when I received accreditation as a counsellor and psychotherapist by the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy 8 years ago. I adhere to the BACP professional standards within my practise. I am also a trained Further Education teacher and hold a Professional Diploma in Education. To maintain my name on the Professional Standards Authority Accredited Register, I am required to undertake regular clinical supervision and maintain my proficiency as a counsellor and psychotherapist provide evidence of my work on continuing professional development.
I have practised as a counsellor and psychotherapist for 17 years, in the voluntary sector, for the NHS, and in private practice within the Greater Manchester area, including Central Manchester and Rochdale. I have considerable experience of working with clients both in time-limited episodes of counselling and longer term psychotherapy. Most of the clients I see resolve their issues satisfactorily within the 4 to 12 appointment model of time-limited counselling, but other clients I have worked with (some of whom were discharged by the NHS with issues still unresolved) needed longer term psychotherapy to help them alleviate their problems.
Clients seek therapy for various reasons, but the most common problems that brought clients I have seen to therapy are:
• Anxiety, including generalized anxiety disorder and panic attacks.
• Depression, including postnatal depression and pervasive sadness.
• Couple and relationship issues including restoration of trust following affairs, or when the relationship is irreparably broken, enabling separation or divorce to take place with the minimum of distress to both partners.
• Bereavement, loss and unresolved grief.
• Addictions including alcohol, drugs, sex, shopping/shoplifting, exercise and work. (Eating disorders also fall within this classification.)
• Post Traumatic Stress Disorder following RTC's, extreme violence, sexual assault, childhood abuse, difficult childbirth, or periods of severe pain.
• Stress resulting from workplace, financial and interpersonal difficulties.
I mainly work with adults (over the age of 18) of both sexes and both gay and straight, on a one-to-one basis, unless I am working with a couple trying to resolve difficulties within their relationship.
Areas with easy access to treatment venues
My practice in Central Manchester is within easy reach of all the towns in Greater Manchester including: in the South, Stockport, Bramhall, Bredbury, Cheadle, Cheadle Hulme, Handforth, Hazel Grove, Hyde and Wythenshaw; in the North, Bury, Radcliffe, Whitefield, Prestwich, Heywood and Middleton; in the West, Altrincham, Hale, Timperley, Sale, Urmston, Carrington, Cadishead, Partington, Irlam, Eccles, Worsley, Swinton, Bolton, Westhoughton, Atherton, Tyldsley; and in the East, Oldham, Failsworth, Ashton, Mossley, Stalybridge, Royton and Shaw.
Whilst my Rochdale practice covers Rochdale borough and the Rossendale Valley including Rawtenstall, Waterfoot, Bacup and Whitworth; Littleborought, Todmorden and and the Calder Valley are also in easy travelling distance.